Typing on the iPad is a pain. It just is. Typing on any on-screen keyboard won’t be as good as typing on a handware one, of course, but there are ways to make the experience a little easier. While some companies are focused on a software solution, the folks behind a very successful Kickstarter project looked to a physical savior.
The iKeyboard is a physical, tactile keyboard that slides onto the iPad and fits exactly over the on-screen keys. In this way you don’t need to install a new app or learn to type a new way, just improve how you type on the keyboard you know.
I see a lot of benefits to this approach, especially for those who don’t want to carry an external keyboard or add bulk with a keyboard case. And again, you don’t have to learn a new way to type.
The drawback is a basic one: the keyboard on the iPad isn’t that great to use for extended typing sessions regardless of the tactile experience. It’s not positioned well, it’s a bit too big for the screen, and there’s no really good angle for comfortable typing.
However, people do love their pretend comfortable typing on the iPad, so this product will probably appeal to many. I will note that it could be useful for people with nails (like me) who can’t even hope for a semblance of touch typing on capacitive displays.
The iKeyboard has adhesive on the bottom to keep it in place while you type that won’t leave residue behind. It’s also thin enough that it can stay on the iPad even with some cases or covers over the screen.
Attendees of MacWorld who got a chance to try it out compared the tactile feedback to the Pop-o-matic dice rolling things from old games. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or not. Hopefully we’ll get a chance to find out soon.
The iKeyboard is $35 and will show up on Amazon.com in a few weeks in both white and black.